Two school years ago (don’t all teachers think in those terms?) I signed up for the Take One! part of National Board certification. Getting my certification had been in the back of my mind for awhile, so when my district offered a program with mentors I signed up.
I went to every meeting and study session. I learned how to precariously perch my camera on my filing cabinet to video my lesson. I typed and typed and typed some more. When it was all uploaded (which they sprung on us mid-process) and submitted, I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Now I just had to wait.
To be honest, I didn’t obsess over my score. I thought about it from time to time, but always with a shrug of the shoulders and “Who knows?”. But early one November morning when I got the email that my score was available, I got nervous. I quickly logged in to my account and went to my score report.
It wasn’t good.
Now, I know that most people don’t pass the first time. I know you can redo your entry. I know that it’s not really about what you can do as a teacher but what you put on those fourteen typed pages.
Over a year later, all I really remember is my score was low. LOW. I remember that I didn’t know my subject matter. Or my kids. Or pretty much anything. It was as if I’d never taught before.
Now I know those things aren’t true. Intellectually I do. But that one test score was so demoralizing that the last thing I wanted to do was go to school and teach all day. But I did.
I’m an adult. I’m a former straight A student. I have multiple degrees and certifications. But.
There’s still a small voice in my head that reminds me of that test score.
And if that’s how I feel about a test score, how do our children feel each and every time they endure this testing process?